BY TIM SCOTT
Beware the Slender Man!
It was the real-life story that horrified the nation and brought Slender Man out of the shadows — and off the internet — and into our homes. Back in 2014, near Milwaukee, three middle-school girls had a sleepover that went terribly wrong. Two of the girls–who were both 12 at the time–lured their third friend out into a park, attacked her, and stabbed her 19 times, hoping to impress the terrifying internet character called Slender Man. They feared that if they did not kill their friend, then Slender Man would kill them and their families.
This week one of those attackers, 15-year-old Anissa Weier, pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted homicide, as a party to a crime, in the savage stabbing attack against Payton Leutner in that park in Waukesha, a city west of Milwaukee. “I believed that if I didn’t go through with it, Slender Man would come and attack and kill myself, my friends and my family–those I cared about the most,” Weier said during the trial.
Weier and her co-defendent, Morgan Geyser, are accused of brutally stabbing Leutner then leaving her for dead in the woods. They then planned to walk hundreds of miles to meet Slender Man in the forest, in Nicolet National Park. Miraculously, Leutner was able to crawl to the road and flag down help. Thank God she survived.
Weier and Geyser will both be evaluated to see if they have the mental capacity to stand trial.
WHO IS THE SLENDER MAN?
According to reports and the HBO Documentary Beware the Slender Man, the character was born out a horror site called CreepyPast Wiki. On that site, it lists the origin of Slender Man like this:
“The Slender Man is a being (male in appearance) who looks like a man with extremely long, slender arms and legs. He also appears to have 4 to 8 long, black tentacles that protrude from his back, though different photographs and enthusiasts disagree on this fact, and therefore it is theorized he can ‘contract’ these tentacles at will.
He is described as wearing a black suit strikingly similar to the visage of the notorious Men In Black, and as the name suggests, appears very thin and able to stretch his limbs and torso to inhuman lengths in order to induce fear and ensnare his prey. Once his arms are outstretched, his victims are put into something of a hypnotized state, where they are utterly helpless to stop themselves from walking into them.”
To read the Creepy Past Slender Man pages, click here >>>
HBO DOCUMENTARY BEWARE THE SLENDER MAN
HBO produced an incredibly detailed documentary about the entire event. In it, it’s revealed that Morgan Geyser grew up with some very troubling claims, such as seeing ghosts as early as three years old. They bit her. They woke her up in the middle of the night. Her parents remember being woken by Morgan in the middle of the night by Morgan saying she was being attacked by ghosts. The documentary frames it as schizophrenia. Some may believe that the girl was besieged by spirits and dark forces. Regardless, Morgan came to believe in the reality of Slender Man, and she feared for her life if she displeased him.
During the trial, it was shown that Morgan still believed in Slender Man. She said that “The Man” started visiting her at age three. He communicated to her telepathically, and began demanding obedience.
HOW DID SLENDER MAN OVERPOWER THESE GIRLS?
It’s hard to imagine how a creation like Slender Man can so overpower a child’s mind that they actually try to commit murder. But, according to a New York Magazine article titled, “Why Did Two Girls Want to Kill For Slender Man?”, the author points to the hyper-active fantasy life of both girls, but particularly Morgan. It’s troubling to read how Morgan’s parents may have inadvertently helped fuel Morgan’s descent in fantasy:
“Morgan’s parents have an erratic pattern of employment. Her mother Angie was laid off last November from her job at a hospital; Matt receives government assistance for mental illness. When he was a teenager, he was hospitalized for something like a schizophrenic break himself. Morgan’s dark imagination can seem disconcerting, but to tour the Facebook pages of both girls’ parents is to find oneself immersed in metal music and fairy paintings, and Morgan’s home seems to have had an especially gothic flavor. One of her father’s alleged email usernames was “ILOVEEVIL,” at least according to the English newspaper the Daily Mail; his Instagram handle was Deadboy420, and on that feed he posted (along with family pictures) brass knuckles tipped with skulls and a skull-and-crossbones birthday card he’d sent his wife. Just two months before the stabbing, Matt proudly posted a drawing Morgan made of Slender Man: “Only Mogo draws Slenderman in crayon on a napkin when we are out to dinner.” You can read the full article here >>>
WHAT ABOUT PAYTON? HOW IS SHE DOING NOW?
Perhaps lost in all this craziness is the victim, Payton Leutner, the girl who suffered the brutal attack from people she thought were her friends. She crawled away and survived, but how is she doing today? According to an article published earlier this year by The Daily Mail, “Payton, meanwhile, is now enjoying life, taking advanced placement classes at school and has even gone on a class trip to Canada with her French club…’There’s some normalcy, after this horrific premeditated crime, and we’re just very proud of her,’ family spokesperson Steve Lyons said.” You can read the entire Daily Mail article here >>>
SO IS (WAS) SLENDER MAN REAL?
It’s no small feat to invent a character that becomes a cult icon, and mainstay of horror stories and nightmares the world over. But was he invented? Or does Slender Man have roots in something real? According to an article on Tech Crunch: “Slenderman’s origin is surprisingly clear. Unlike most urban legends, we can trace his provenance with absolute certainty. He was born on June 8, 2009, on a forum site frequented by Photoshop pranksters. He belongs to a guy in Florida named Eric Knudsen who has a young daughter and is surprised as much as anything that his demon hasn’t yet been thrown onto the slag heap of forgotten memes. An entire history, an entire corpus, has grown up around him in a way that would have been impossible a decade ago.” Article here >>>
Yahoo Answers says this: “The creature fits into many mythologies in legends from nations such as germany and celts whitch brings up the possibility that he could be real. A man named victor Surge found this legend and made his own version of it whitch he called slender man….Personally I believe he is real but not victor Surge’s version. The problem is figuring out what came from mythology and what was made up for entertainment.” Read full Yahoo article here >>>
On the wikipedia page for Slender Man: “During an early 2015 epidemic of suicide attempts by young people ages 12 to 24 on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Slender Man was cited as an influence; the Oglala Sioux tribe president noted that many Native Americans traditionally believe in a “suicide spirit” similar to the Slender Man.”
The original Creepy Past postings regarding Slender Man cite many historical proofs for his existence, including Brazilian Cave Paintings, Egyptian Hieroglyphics, and German Woodcuts, Romanian Mythology, among others. They claim he is called by different names, including The Tall Man. It’s important to note, however, the Creepy Pasta is mainly a creative fiction site.
A quick internet search, however, reveals many people who believe in him — and claim to have encountered him. Is this the result of mania, hysteria, or FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)? Who knows? All we know is that this internet meme has found a home more widespread than many would ever imagined. Slender Man connects to primal fears within us — the dark windows at night, the unnaturally elongated men who watch and stare at us from the woods, the terror who stalks innocent children. Whatever the truth, we know that Slender Man lurks in our nightmares, never far removed from the darker corners of our minds. For many, they don’t need physical proof of his existence — they KNOW he’s there.
As I was walking home one night
I saw a stranger by a light
His arms were long, his head was small
I’ve never seen a man so tall
His arms reached out and grabbed me tight
I went along without a fight
I looked and saw he had no face
And then my heart began to race
He spoke to me without a sound
And picked me up right off the ground
The Slender Man took me away
To never see new light of day
SLENDER MAN VIDEOS